Texas Tech finished among the top five in each of the last four regular-season tournaments during the spring and the Lady Raiders are now reaping the rewards of their success. The program is one of 21 teams selected to the NCAA Central Regional field, announced Monday afternoon by the NCAA.
"I am thrilled about being selected for the NCAA Central Regional," said Stacey Totman, who is in her 10th season as head coach. "This team has worked so hard for this all year and they are so deserving. We have had several different lineups this year, so it was a total team effort. We have had upper classmen step up and our freshmen have pushed everyone to work hard all year.
"It is a great accomplishment and we are looking forward to representing Texas Tech in our quest to advance to the NCAA Championships."
Totman is leading the No. 43 Lady Raiders to their third NCAA regional since 2004. The Lady Raiders advanced to the NCAA regional round in 2004 in the West region at Stanford and hosted the 2005 Central region at The Rawls Course in Lubbock.
Under Totman's guidance the program enjoyed one of its most successful spring seasons in school history. Following a 14th-place finish in Puerto Rico in February, the Lady Raiders regrouped and propelled themselves up the rankings with top five finishes at the Rio Verde Invitational (2nd) and UNLV Spring Rebel Invitational (3rd) in less than a week. Tech finished third and fourth, respectively, at the Mountain View Intercollegiate and BYU/Dixie Classic in late March and early April.
Megan Dowdy and Ulrika van Niekerk lead the team with 75.81 and 75.83 stroke averages, while Rosalyn Kim is averaging 76.4 strokes. Freshmen Stephanie Smith and Robyn Scott, both of whom played in the Big 12 Championships over the weekend, are averaging 76.5 and 78.2. Van Niekerk was the team's leader in the spring with a 75.4 stroke average in five events.
Texas will host the NCAA Central Regional at the University of Texas Golf Club in Austin, May 8-10. The field for the event is loaded with several of the nation's top programs, including nine among the top 25. The field includes UCLA, Purdue, Alabama, Denver, Kent State, Pepperdine, LSU, Texas A&M and Notre Dame, all among the top 25, followed by Texas, TCU, Florida State, North Carolina State, East Tennessee State, Texas Tech, Washington, Nebraska, Harvard, Texas State, Illinois State and Fairleigh Dickinson.
Eight teams and the top two individuals not associated with advancing teams from each of the three regions will move on to the NCAA Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., May 20-23.